GREAT EVENT-Greg Stremlaw

GREAT EVENT-Greg Stremlaw

City to host Scotties Tournament of Hearts for a second time

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts is set to return to Red Deer in 2012.

The women’s curling tournament will be held at the Enmax Centrium from Feb. 18 to 26 in 2012.

Red Deer previously hosted the tournament in 2004, which drew the second highest attendance record in tournament history.

The announcement was met with support from the community.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling says Red Deer is the ideal location to hold a tournament of this caliber.

“It’s a really a natural place,” says Flewwelling. “We should be able to blow the doors off.”

Flewwelling also says The Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be a million dollar economic boost to the Central Alberta economy.

Greg Stremlaw, chief executive officer of the Canadian Curling Association, hopes the event will draw even higher crowds that past events.

“It’s considered by most curling enthusiast to be the premiere women’s curling event, not only in Canada, but in the entire world,” says Stremlaw. “We are hoping we can continue that momentum and certainly choosing someplace like Red Deer will continue to build on that.”

Curling as a spectator sport has gained popularity in the past decade and continues to grow.

Almost seven million fans watched the curling coverage during the 2010 Olympics.

“Coming off the Olympics, I just think curling is really well positioned to become a contender for hockey for the number one spectator sport,” says Flewwelling.

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts is one of six events featured in the Season of Champions managed by the CCA.

Games from The Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be broadcast daily on TSN.